Thursday, July 8, 2010

Homemade Silky Chocolate Pudding

All these days I never thought of making chocolate pudding at home until I saw my kids fighting for one. I don’t know when my boy started liking them because he used to hate it, kids likes and dislikes keep on changing, its hard to know. I promised them to make one at home and luckily I had a chocolate bar in my pantry which I got it to make homemade almond chocolate.
When I told my boy I am making chocolate pudding, he said, “ Make it different than usual like topping it with ice cream” since I didn’t have a vanilla flavored ice cream in my freezer I gave him topped with whip cream and some sprinkler and my kids really loved it. There is nothing like home made chocolate pudding with its silky smooth texture and a wonderful chocolate flavor.

Semi-Sweet chocolate bar – 4oz
Sugar – 1 cup
Whole milk – 2 and ½ cup
Cornstarch – ¼ cup
Salt – 1/8 tsp
Vanilla extract – 1 tsp
Whip cream and some sprinkler for topping (optional)

Mix cornstarch, sugar and salt in a pan and add milk to it slowly and whisk it until its lump free. Place it over a boiling water(double boiler method) and stirring occasionally.
After 15 mins, when the mixture starts thickening add the chocolate and continue stirring for 3 to 4 mins and remove from the heat and add the vanilla extract.
Pour the pudding in the serving cup and cover the pudding by placing the plastic wrap directly inside the cup over the pudding; this prevents from developing a pudding skin on the top.
Refrigerate for an hour and serve it topped with whip cream and sprinklers. Enjoy!! 

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sprouted Moong dal and Oats Dosa – A healthier version of Pesarattu

Summer vacation is almost here and my boy who is in kindergarten already started counting days and he is so much excited and happy but I am wondering how am I going to entertain him all summer. He got accustomed to being in school all day and now I am thinking hard to come up with fun activities to keep him busy.
Last year president Obama proposed a longer school days for this generation of students to remain competitive to the remaining world. I think that’s a good idea, the children here have only 180 days of school compared to more than 200 days (don’t know the exact no.) of school back in India. I am worried what kind of problems my kids will face adjusting to the Indian schooling system when we go back to India.
Coming back to the recipe this one is super healthy and nutritious dosa. I usually make salads and curry using this sprouts but this is the first time I am trying out dosa just b’coz of my kids. My boy hates eating vegetables in any form and salad no doubt he never even try to taste it. I thought making dosa sprouted moong dal is the only way I can make my kids eat these healthy sprouts. Luckily there was no difference in the taste compared to the original pesarattu even by adding oats to it and my kids ate without any fuzz and that gives me a great satisfaction.

Green moong dal – 1 cup
Oats – ½ cup
Green chilies – 2
Onion chopped – 1 medium
Ginger – 1”
Cumin seeds – ½ tsp
Curry leaves – 5
Cilantro – 1 cup
Salt to taste

Soak moong dal overnight and drain all the water and keep coved in a wet cloth for minimum 12 hrs and make sure the cloth is wet all the time. When its sprouted, grind along with all other ingredients using a very little amount of water to a coarse paste. Make dosa out of it and enjoy with ginger chutney.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Strawberry Jam

Strawberry season is here, if you love strawberries, it’s the best time to pick your own strawberries.  Last week on a fine sunny day my family went for a strawberry picking …it was super fun. Picking your own strawberries is the best way to know that you are getting the freshest strawberries. Luckily there were more than few farms near my place but we chose a one which is little far off, heard they have the very tasty strawberries and sure they did. My kids loved exploring the strawberry field, my boy was busy looking out for big ripe ones and my girl was busy playing on the farm rather I would say destroying the plants. Most of the berries went into the basket but not before tasting few. Actually when we went there most of the strawberries have been picked but still we managed to pick two basket full of good ripe ones.
After eating the fruit and making juices and smoothies out of it, still lots of berries were left, so I ended up making the strawberry jam. For just three cups of mashed strawberries gave me seven 8oz jars of jam. To extend the jam’s shelf life, processing the jars is more important.

Strawberries cut and mashed – 3 Cups
Sugar – 5 cups
Pectin – 1 packet (1.7oz)
8oz Jar – 7

1.Processing the bottles- clean the jars and lids and boil them separately for 10 mins. 
2.Rinse, hull and cut the strawberry and put in a bowl and mash them with a potato                          masher until no lumps. Mix 1 packet of pectin to the strawberry.
3.Bring the mixture to boil, stir in the sugar and continue boiling, stirring in between. Use a spoon to remove the foam from the surface.
3.Boil until the mixture thickens for about 20 to 30 mins in a medium heat.
4.To perform the gel test, take a half chilled steel spoon full of mix and bring it to room temperature on the spoon, if it thickens up to the consistency of your choice, the jam is done. If not add little more pectin and bring it to boil for a min.
5.Remove from heat and cool for 10 mins and remove the jars from the hot water without using your hand and pour the jam and seal it and enjoy it.
A scoop of vanilla ice cream topped with this jam at its best. 

Monday, May 10, 2010

“My 100th post” – Nothing special just Croutons Manchurian

At last this marks my "100th post", actually I targeted to complete 100 postings within a year of my blogging but it took more than a year for me to reach here. I wanted to post something sweet for my special 100th post and waited a week for me to prepare but till now I haven’t made anything special (lazy me) but I couldn’t wait any longer to mark this mini milestone in my blog so posting this croutons manchurian.
So, we reached the 100th post with this food blog, yes I say “we” because while I do all the cooking and writing my hubby helps me with the pictures so a little credit to him.
I have been blogging for a little over a year now and I have covered most of my family favorites recipes in my blog but my hubby complains that’s there is no healthy food recipes in my blog so I have decide to concentrate more on preparing healthy dishes with lots of vegetables and fruits and doing lots of variations to the regular dish I prepare to make it look healthier. I have to honestly accept that my hubby is not the only reason for me to go the healthier way of cooking; the other strong reason is my friend Viji. Yes I met her a few days back after her India vacation that is after 5 long months , oh my goodness that girl has lost a good amount of weight and what she said the reason is like eating healthy and lots of exercise. Me doing exercise is not possible so at least I want to try eating possibly healthier like more of fruits and vegetables..…hmmm from now on you can expect more of healthy food recipes in my blog. All the credit goes to Viji if I am still with this even after a month.
Today’s post is Croutons Manchurian, a quick and tasty recipe and to make sure this is not the "so called" healthier one. I used the store brought croutons and if can make one by yourself, that’s good and try out this recipe with it. When you buy from the store, make sure you buy the plain ones, I used the flavored one and I think plain one would have tasted better.

Croutons – 1 packet
Ginger chopped – 1 tbsp
Garlic chopped – 1tbsp
Onion chopped finely – 2 tsp
Green Chiles – 3 finely chopped
Chili garlic sauce – 1 tsp
Soy sauce – 1 tsp
Tomato ketchup – 2 tsp
Cilantro chopped
Oil – 1 tsp
Salt to taste

Heat oil in a non-stick pan, add onion, garlic, ginger and chilies and sauté for 5 mins. Then add chili garlic sauce and soy sauce and ketchup and add ½ a cup of water and let to boil. Now add the croutons and mix well. The croutons will absorb the sauce and will turn soft. Finish off with lots of cilantro and enjoy this quick and tasty Manchurian.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Chettinad Lamb Curry

This is yet another chettinad delicacy from my kitchen. All my friends and family knew that I am very obsessed with chettinad recipes so this time my sister who took the privilege of passing on this recipe to me, I was not interested to know how she got it so I am not sure on its authenticity but I can assure you, "it’s very delicious". Anyway why bother about other stuff when it tastes excellent. Generally I adapt recipes to my taste, this is one kind of recipes I did follow faithfully and I have the taste and texture nailed down in this recipe and I doubt me trying another mutton curry recipe after tasting this one. This recipe is not too complicated and once if you try this, you’ll never go back to your own mutton curry recipe (like me). This curry is an excellent combination with idli. A plate of steaming hot idlis with mutton curry ….hmmm…. nothing can taste better than this..sorry vegetarian guys.

Lamb – 1 lb
Pearl onions – 15
Garlic Cloves – 10
Tomato – 1 medium
Coriander Powder – 1 tsp
Sambar Powder – 1 tsp
Paprika powder – 1 tsp (optional)
Chili Powder – 1 tsp
Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
Ginger garlic paste – 2 tsp
Oil – 3 tsp
Curry leaves
Salt to taste

To Grind
Coconut – ¼ cup
Fennel seeds – 1 tsp
Cardamom – 2

For Seasoning
Cloves – 5
Cinnamon – 1”
Cardamom – 3

Chop the onions if you its too big. Heat oil in the pressure cooker and add cloves, cinnamon and cardamom and when its aromatic add onions and garlic and sauté well and add the ginger garlic paste and now add the tomato and sauté until the tomato is mushy. Next add mutton/lamb and fry in slow flame for 10 mins. Add all dry powders one by one and mix well and add sufficient water and pressure-cook for 10 mins. When its done look for the consistency and add more water if needed and now add the grinded coconut paste and curry leaves and when its starts to boil turn off the flame and add cilantro generously. Enjoy!!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Puliyodhari/Puliyogere/ Tamarind Rice

Its been ages since I made the tamarind rice- in an authentic way and to be honest I haven’t done it this way and the main reason is I hate this dish. At last I decided to make it as my hubby loves this and I don’t want to find an excuse for not making just because I don’t like it. Every one says this dish is so tasty and I don’t know why my taste buds always rejects this rice.
Everyone knows this is a very popular temple prasadam allover south India and many people visits temple regularly just for this but visit for sweet pongal they give at temple and sometimes they would give both and I always trade my puliyogere for pongal with whoever I go. This rice is also very popular for picnic in India but not in the trip I am organizing or at least I make sure curd rice is also there or else no picnic:-)

Ingredients for pulikachal/gravy
Tamarind – A golf ball size
Gingelly oil - ¼ Cup
Channa dhal – 2 tbsp
Roasted Peanut – 3 tbsp
Red Chilies – 3
Mustard – 1tsp
Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
Salt to taste

For the Powder
Sesame seeds – 2 tbsp
Coriander seed – 2 tsp
Fenugreek seed – ¼ tsp
Red Chilies – 2

Add enough water to soak the tamarind and microwave for 2 mins and extract the juice and discard any lumps and do no add more water.
Heat the oil in a pan and add the asafetida and mustard seed and when they splutter add channa dhal and peanuts and add turmeric powder and when the channa dhal turns red add red chili and add the tamarind juice and add half of salt and remaining salt can be added while mixing with rice. Reduce the heat and cook until it becomes thick and oil floats on top. Cool and store in the refrigerator in a bottle and this will stay fresh for a month.
For the powder, just roast all the ingredients and grind to a coarse powder and store in a separate container.

For making tamarind rice
Cool the rice after cooking and rice should be separate.
Add little pulikachal with rice and mix it and sprinkle little of the powder and mix. Add salt to your taste and Enjoy with papad.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Mushroom and Pepper's Sandwich

This is a very simple and delicious sandwich. This sandwich was prepared  for my hubby to take to work for lunch and I had to hurry as it was getting late and you can see that in my picture, did not wait for it to even focus. This is very filling, healthy and easy to carry in a lunch box as well. Mushroom and peppers are the terrific combination I could think of for a vegan sandwich and the whole sandwich comes together very well and the taste you will really relish.

Bread – 4 slices
Button Mushroom – 5 chopped
Red and yellow peppers Chopped – 1 Cup
Cheese Singles – 2 (use any kind of your choice, I used provolone)
Oil – 1 tsp
Salt and pepper to taste
Mayonnaise and Dijon mustard to spread


Heat oil in a pan and fry peppers till half cooked and add mushrooms and fry for couple of mins by adding salt and pepper.
Meanwhile spread the mayo and Dijon mustard on one bread slice and place the fried mushroom and peppers and top it with the cheese and close it with another bread slice.
Put the sandwich in a skillet and evenly brown over medium heat on both sides...ENJOY!!